Monday, March 10, 2014

Bikepacking- Klickitat River, Washington

Six of us headed out for the first little bikepacking overnight of the season. From The Dalles, Oregon, we headed across the mighty Columbia River into Washington, where we would eventually hit the Klickitat River trail. It's basically a primitive rail trail, and the rough surface of ballast rock and washouts are best traveled on a mountain bike.

GPS Tracks Here

Day 1

 "You're stopping? Great, I'm thirsty"

One of the old railroad bridges on the Klickitat Trail

Notice the road sign? Despite it raining at the moment, we all chuckled and dismissed the warning, until two miles later, when my 29+ wheels barely moved in the mud. This stuff turned to slime, so we opted to make camp for the night.

We got a fire going under a huge old growth Douglas Fir before the rain really came down. The usual whiskey/fire/food/sleep cycle ensued.

Day 2

The rain finally stopped around 8:30 the next morning, and the sun was starting to pop out. 

 Lesson: Wool-blend gloves melt when you lay them next to the fire to dry them out. Ironically, the thumb side was still wet.

Yeah, slimy mud ruts

After a huge descent, we dropped into the shabby town of Klickitat, Washington. The huge lumber mill that closed in 1994 was a city block long. Left to rot, it now makes for some sketchy, fun off-bike exploring. 

Surly ECR- encounter creepy ruins

All the essentials are available in town

 So good

Back on the highway towards The Dalles finish.

This area has a ton of potential for further exploring. Had it not been raining, we were hoping to get to Rattlesnake Falls. Next time...